We’re sitting in the central square of Bologna. I’ve just finished drinking the best cappuccino I’ve had on the trip so far, and there’s a warm breeze caressing my bare shoulders.
The weather is perfect. It’s an enormous, rather stark square, with massive medieval buildings on all four sides, the predominant colors of Bologna being dark-red and ochre. The huge cathedral is currently undergoing renovations, but they’ve considerately hung a mind-bogglingly large plastic tarp over the front of it, with a life-sized picture of how it will look when they’ve finished remodeling.
At the moment there’s a police helicopter sitting in the very middle of the square. Apparently, the state police have just finished having an exhibit, which they’re dismantling at the moment.
Rick says he likes Bologna better than Venice, because it’s less touristy, less like Disneyland. Of course, probably every place on earth is less touristy than Venice. I don’t.
I’m still grumpy about having to return to the world of motorized vehicles. In fact, people in army jeeps keep driving around and around the square, practically grazing our table, and now they’re loading the helicopter onto a gigantic tow truck, a complicated operation requiring lots of heavy chains and shouting back and forth. (Why don’t they just fly it to its new destination?) All this adds up to a LOT OF NOISE.
To be fair, there are lots and lots of people on bicycles as well, helmetless and dressed in business suits and stylish little dresses, darting fearlessly in and out of traffic.
Daughter Ellie told us Bologna has the best food in Italy, and so far, I’m in enthusiastic agreement. I’m eating an extra-dark chocolate gelato right now, the first of the day, purchased in a very fancy gourmet gelateria where the gelato costs 2 euros instead of 1. Without exaggeration (readers who know me know I NEVER exaggerate), this gelato could be death by chocolate. It would be a death you’d welcome, closing your eyes and surrendering to the deep, dark, dense, satiny, rich, intense chocolate infusion as it delivers its lethal dose directly to the pleasure centers of your limbic system. . . wait, where am I?
Oh, I forgot. Talking about Bologna. We also just had the best pizza we’ve had (in my opinion, Rick doesn’t agree): it’s yummy pizza topping on salty, pillowy, olive-oily focaccia bread. OMG!! I think I need to go take a nap now.
I forgot to mention that we are now the proud owners of a minuscule bottle of balsamic vinegar that cost–*drum roll*– sixty-three euros!! Rick may have other ideas (he’s the one who bought it), but if I have anything to say in the matter, we’re not going to use that vinegar, we’re going to make a tiny shrine for it on the mantelpiece where we can pray to it every day.